Uniting Church leaders from across Australia are joining interfaith and ecumenical friends today in a statement of solidarity with Australia’s Muslim community.
Uniting Church in Australia President Rev Prof Andrew Dutney is one of more than 150 faith and community leaders who’ve signed on to a declaration that “We’ll Love Muslims 100 Years.”
The statement is a reference to the banner headline in the Weekend Australian on 9 August “We’ll Fight Islam 100 Years.”
“Recent public statements and media coverage about Muslim-Australians in some sections of the Australian media have been inflammatory and divisive,” said Andrew.
“In our multi-faith society, Jesus’ call to love your neighbour means that Christians are called to meet, befriend and care about our neighbours who are Muslim.”
“Because of this, we can’t just stand by if they are unfairly insulted or marginalised.”
Signatories to the Love for 100 Years statement declare that “We believe people of Muslim faith are being unfairly smeared in the eyes of the Australian public by both subtle and overt links to violent extremism in political and media discourse.”
“We know and understand the deep concern and hurt this is causing to our Muslim friends and the risks these kind of generalisations present to social harmony and cohesion.”
The full text of the statement and current signatories can be found at http://www.lovefor100years.com
Signatories include many of the UCA’s interfaith and ecumenical dialogue partners, such as the Affinity Intercultural Foundation, the Australian Council of Christians and Jews, and the Together for Humanity Foundation.
Faith leaders will gather publicly in Sydney, Adelaide and Perth today to launch the statement and encourage others to sign up.
An event will be held in Perth today at 1.30pm at the Chapel opposite UWA, St. George’s College, Mounts Bay Road.